I am looking for information on how I can have my out of print books digitised onto perhaps DVDs. I can't seem to be able to find anyone who can advise me on how this can be done and the process to do this sort of publishing. I would like to have material that can be displayed and sold on Amazon’s Kindle. [Originally asked by Leighton on December 03, 2008, on www.digitalnz.org]
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It is relatively easy to self-publish a book digitally and at a low cost, although a number of the publishing options, like Amazon, are offshore. The first thing to decide is if you want your original format retained or want your content to be reformatted for any purpose. Reformatting might be for a web-page, e-book format or even a print-on-demand edition. If your original format has to be retained, then you can scan the pages and save to a digital image format such as a TIFF (tagged image format) or a PDF (portable document format). The downside to this approach is that images will tend to be fuzzy when formatted for a handheld device (the Kindle at present can only do four shades of grey, and no colour), and text may not all fit on the screen. If you want content that can be reformatted, you can scan the text using OCR (optical character recognition) software, and then edit and correct the text in a word processing application. Images should be scanned separately, ideally at a print-quality resolution of 300dpi. If you don’t want to do this yourself, most print shops will scan for you or recommend a service that will. At this point you can reformat the digital files for any purpose. Amazon has a free guide to formatting and selling e-books for the Kindle at http://dtp.amazon.com, or you can use the free e-book creator software at www.mobipocket.com. Several New Zealand printers offer print-on-demand publishing, or you can try a free service like www.lulu.com. Lulu allows both print-on-demand and e-book versions and only charges a commission on sales.